Last summer, I took a float rating. In fact, I took a float rating and some additional training as well. I think I have about 50 hours total on floats. Its not much, but its about 43 hours more than the average fresh-licence holder has when they're first entering the job market.
Considering those hours were all paid for, its a substantial investment. Float hours are equivalent in cost to Twin-time. ( Multi-engine aircraft ).
A lot of my friends and other pilots I have met going down this path have opted to " specialize " in airline type flying. That is, they went out and got a Multi-Engine rating, along with an Instrument Flight Rules rating added to their licence. Most had these ratings done within the framework of their CPL ( in those " extra " or " time-building " hours " ).
Don't get me wrong, I'd be a liar if I didn't say I'd be thrilled to get trained to fly a 747 and go gallivanting around the globe in a big piece of iron like that.
But.... the idea of flying in the wilderness and actually " flying " an aircraft as opposed to managing systems and other crew members appeals a little more to me right now.
I'm sure later on, when my back has given out from humping fuel drums into and out of the plane and I'm sick of the smell of moose blood and fish guts, I'll change my outlook on the " bush " somewhat.
I have to say though, if I was offered, and accepted an airline seat right now, I'd feel like I cheated myself out of the good part of an aviation adventure...all the sights, sounds and experiences that lead up to being qualified to fly a jet seem to me to be more fun than the end result itself.
Again, I'll probably pull this up a few years from now and have a laugh myself... How can I possibly know what I want, like or dislike when I haven't tried ANY of it yet??
But, you gotta start somewhere I guess....
There are quite a few paths in this business it seems, and most of the people I talk to seem to end up on a path quite a bit different than the one they thought they would be on...
Right now, I'm just waiting to hear back from the lodge and when they expect the Ice to be out and work to start on setting up the camps for the season.
The Lovely Wife and I have had a lot of time to digest this upcoming summer, so I think we're pretty ready for it. A lot of our friends are just now realizing that I will be gone all summer and have started to ask her if she's OK with it. I think someone even took her aside and asked her if our marriage was ok...ha ha.
I gotta say, there is NO WAY possible to have even contemplated this without her full support. She is making just as many sacrifices as me, but she doesnt get the thrill that I get when I go full rich and mags to start... So in a lot of ways, she is the one doing the hard part.
We've picked up a little laptop computer for me to use to web-chat with her back home whenever I can. Our cell plan allows unlimited text and voice calling as well. We've both got in the habit of texting throughout the day as well, so it will be nice if we can maintain that type of daily involvement in each others day.
No idea of the Internet situation where I am going, I know the town has it, just don't know if my employer has it on site.
The living situation out there, will be myself and two other pilot/dockhands sharing a living space. I am assuming its either a trailer or small house / basement. I was told there will be cooking facilities for us and that we are on our own for groceries.
I actually talked with a fellow who had worked there previously, and he said that most of the guests, having brought all their own groceries out to the cabins for the week-long stay, end up leaving tons of food behind. This apparently gets rounded up when the cabins are being prepped for the next batch of guests, and brought back to base to be donated to the dockhands.
So hopefully, my food expenses will be relatively low. Either that or start looking for the 1001 Ways to Cook Walleye recipe book....
My employer out here has already graciously agreed to grant me a Leave Of Absence for the summer, as I do plan to be back home and looking for work in October.
Definitely looking forward to getting started though......